Gluten Free Carrot Pineapple Muffins Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on January 24, 2012

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Gluten free Recipe - Sugar Free Dairy Free Carrot Pineapple Muffins

Gluten Free Carrot Pineapple Muffins Recipe

There are times when I can think of nothing better to eat for breakfast than a gluten free cupcake. After all, we eat muffins for breakfast all the time and a muffin is really just an ugly cupcake, right? I am sure if you ask any 8 year old, they will agree with me wholeheartedly!

But there is a down side to having a “normal” cupcake for breakfast. The typical cupcake is filled with sugar, refined flours and starch and often “bad fat,” and despite that feeling of euphoria that comes from consuming all of that, the price will be paid later on when the crash comes. If I do indulge in a cupcake for breakfast I quickly become overtaken with mental fog and am ready for a nap by midmorning. Not a productive start to the day and certainly no way to send the kiddos off to school.

This recipe is really a muffin recipe that can look like a cupcake if you choose. (I may add that serving a kid something healthy that looks like it’s not increases your chances of getting them to eat it by about 10 fold!) It is packed with fiber, low in fat, dairy free, includes vegetables and is refined sugar free.

The fiber (and whole grain goodness) comes from a combination of brown rice flour and coconut flour. There is a bit of tapioca starch mixed in to lighten them up but less than a teaspoon and a half per muffin. Carrots are packed with vitamins and minerals and are actually a fat burning food!

The sweetness for these muffins comes in some usual sugar replacement ways such as maple syrup and coconut sugar and one unusual way – freeze dried pineapple.

Normal dried pineapple is usually coated with sugar, contains nitrates and is not all that good for you. Freeze dried pineapple contains pineapple – and that’s it! Adding them to my carrot muffins adds a delightful bit of extra sweetness as well as a little tang from the natural sweet/tart characteristic of pineapple.

I made a little dairy free “cream cheese” maple topping that can go ON the muffin (making it look like a cupcake) or used as a spread, like butter – but better. If dairy is not an issue for you or your family, low fat cream cheese is a good, low fat substitute.

I don’t know about you, but waking up and making muffins on a work day is not high on my list of things I like to do, so both the muffins and topping (or spread) can be made on a Sunday and served on a Monday morning. These Gluten Free Carrot Pineapple Muffins also make a nice treat to pack into a lunch box.

So have I convinced you that gluten free cupcakes can indeed make a great breakfast?

Gluten Free Sugar Free Carrot Pineapple Muffins

Gluten Free Carrot Pineapple Muffins Recipe



1 cup brown rice flour (preferably superfine)
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 cup coconut sugar
½ cup grapeseed (or other neutral tasting) oil
½ cup low fat coconut milk (or other dairy free milk)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 ½ cups grated carrots (from approximately ¾ pound)
1 1.5-ounce packet freeze dried pineapple


8 ounces dairy free cream cheese (or low fat cream cheese if dairy is not an issue) – at room temperature
4 tablespoons maple syrup
¼ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt


Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Sift the brown rice flour and coconut flour into a large mixing bowl; add the tapioca starch, baking powder, ¾ teaspoon salt and cinnamon. Whisk to combine.

In another mixing bowl lightly whisk the eggs. Add the coconut sugar, grapeseed oil, coconut milk, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons maple syrup and whisk to combine.

Combine the grated carrots with the pineapple in a bowl, add about ¼ cup of the flour blend and toss to coat.

Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture, whisk to combine then add the carrot/pineapple mixture and fold in. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins, filling each cup full. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

With a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese substitute with the 4 tablespoons maple syrup and salt until smooth. Refrigerate until serving.

Either spread the topping on the muffins or serve the topping on the side.

Can be made 1- 2 days ahead, store topping in refrigerator and muffins in an airtight bag at room temperature.


This Gluten Free Carrot Pineapple Muffins Recipe makes 12

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

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Categories:    Breakfast & Brunch

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel Keeth January 24, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Those muffins/cupcakes look wonderful! I would love to try your recipe sometime.


Carol Kicinski January 24, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Report back when you do – I hope you will like them as much as we do!


Joy January 24, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Not only will I eat these “cupcakes” for breakfast, I would feed them to the kids!


Carol Kicinski January 24, 2012 at 9:55 pm

OK Joy, that’s high praise! Thanks.


Cindy January 25, 2012 at 1:04 pm

This is perfect for me and my boy. He needs more fiber and trying to get him to eat fruit and vegies is a chore! Thanks again Carol for your fabulous work and recipes! I’ll be whipping these up today!!


Anita K January 25, 2012 at 6:43 pm

What a perfect reciipe – thank you! I have been hearing about coconut flour – where do you get it? I love coconut sugar.


Carol Kicinski January 26, 2012 at 8:02 am

Health food store or on the internet – in fact they even sell it at my regular grocery store – Publix.


InTolerant Chef January 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Delicious! I wish I could get some of that freeze dried pineapple, it sounds fantastic and not sickly sweet.


Rosella January 30, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Where do you get the coconut sugar? I’ve never seen or heard of it. Muffin Recipe sounds good but can I substitute reg. sugar?


Carol Kicinski January 30, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Hi Rosella,
You can get coconut sugar at most health or natural foods stores, it is fairly new but becoming more readily available. If you can’t find it you can of course substitute regular sugar or even brown sugar. Personally I would go with brown sugar as it would compliment the flavors best. Enjoy!


Rachel @ The Health Revival April 12, 2012 at 6:39 pm

I made these without the cream cheese frosting and my whole family loved them – I was so thrilled to find a gluten-free muffin that was moist! I cut the oil a bit, used flours I had on hand, nixed the maple syrup and added finely diced dried fruit, but they still turned out great – thanks! Will be making these again, for sure :) SO VERSATILE


Carol Kicinski April 13, 2012 at 9:21 am

Thanks Rachael – so happy you enjoyed them and I love it when people take my recipes and make them thier own! That, to me, is the greatest.


Denise September 4, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Could I make the carrot pineapple muffins with garbanzo and fava flour blend and xanthan gum instead of brown rice and coconut flours? Also without tapioca starch. I’m new to gluten and dairy free cooking. Thanks.


Carol Kicinski September 5, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Hi Denise, I very rarely bake with bean flours so I am just not sure if the muffins will turn out light enough. I am afraid that with just bean flours and xanthan gum they will be too dense. You could surely substitute the coconut flour with 1/2 cup of more bean flour but I think you will need some kind of starch – tapioca, arrowroot, corn or potato.


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